Chimamanda Will Lead Women To ‘Hell’ By Fredrick Nwabufo

Who made Chimamanda Adichie the supremo of feminism? Who made her the feminist papal? How did she become the feminist potentate?

By asking Hilary Clinton, former US presidential candidate, why her Twitter bio starts with “wife’, Chimamanda has not only intruded into the personal business of Clinton, but also scorned a key principle of feminism – “choice”.

Besides other leanings, feminism entails freedom of choice. A woman is at liberty to be anything she wants to be – doctor, lawyer, housewife or mother. The right to choose is principal, and this should not be prejudiced.

Setting straightjacket standards and rules, which Chimamanda’s brand of feminism promotes, will result in a second captivity – by matriarchal she-lords.

Notable feminists of the first and second waves such as Betty Friedan, author of ‘The Feminine Mystique’, emphasised the essence of “choice” in their works; that a woman can be a housewife or a career person if she chooses to. The key word here is “chooses”.

The imposition of personal foibles on the feminist struggle gives it a blemished complexion. The result of this is the ridiculing of women who choose to be mothers or housewives by their so-called “woke” peers.

As a matter of fact, Chimamanda’s brand of feminism makes a caricature of the movement’s goal – equality of gender. How? Chimamanda’s virulent feminism, by default, teaches all women are not equal – the housewife is less of a woman and in shackles, while the stiletto-wearing career woman is the archetypal vanquisher of the demonic patriarchal order.

In all, it is still “woke” if a woman chooses “wife” as her title. It is all a matter of choice. Personally, I believe “father” is an esteemed title. Nursing my six-year-old son from infancy has been the most rewarding duty for me. Yes, I am a father first.

In conclusion, Chimamanda’s feminism is already leading some women to the hell of confusion, bitterness and misandry.  Feminism should be defined by all women in different stations, according to their realities and choice, not by some self-installed matriarchal potentates.

Ambode’s Pragmatic, Inclusive & Responsive Leadership Style By Olabode Opeseitan

Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State last week held a town hall meeting in Apapa, the 11th in the series, to rub minds with the people.

He shared his plans for the area and took time to listen to the people so that he could understand the peculiarity of their challenges and find prompt, pragmatic and effective solutions to the nagging difficulties they have been facing, including the notorious tanker/truck nightmare on Apapa roads.

To motivate the people to freely ventilate their views without thinking that the engagement would probably be an exercise in futility, Governor Ambode cited how a similar town hall meeting in Alimosho area of the state birthed the 21 roads and 2 bridges the state commissioned recently.

The well-liked Governor told his audience that his administration wanted to do only one bridge (Ikola) and 5 roads in the Alimosho area but after a similar interaction with the people, the number of constructed roads and bridges increased.

He said though the increment was not originally captured in the budget, the state government decided to do the roads when it saw the instant impact they would have on the lives of the people.

“That was how they got the dividend of democracy”, he recalled, to the delight of his audience. He said his administration will do all it takes to address the traffic gridlock in Apapa area.

He directed state officials to immediately take over the ABAT Truck Terminal at Orile-Iganmu and increase the facility’s capacity from 300 tankers to 3,000.
He also announced that the state would restore Apapa’s lost glory by rehabilitating dilapidated roads in the axis.

Increasingly, Ambode has shown that a leader must have the genuine interest of his/her people at heart. Ambode is never overwhelmed by stumbling blocks. He is perennially devising solutions to the daunting challenges facing Lagos.

Even if a project is not in the budget and the people for whom the budget is meant unanimously agree that such project is of utmost importance to them, Ambode believes the state can work with the legislature to fix the issue without waiting for the annual budget cycle.

At the same town hall meeting, Governor Ambode announced plans by the state government to open up the road from Orile, Mile 2 to the Trade Fair Complex in the next 6 months.

What else can one say about this thought leader? The Thought Leadership Lab captured the Ambode phenomenon so succinctly when it said, “Thought leadership is not about being known. It is about being known for making a difference. Indeed, Ambode is making a HUGE difference.

Before Another List Of Looters Is Released By Muhammad Ajah

The federal government of Nigeria recently released names of alleged looters of the commonwealth of the nation with the hint that another list would be made public in due course. How soon the list or even the third and fourth lists would be released, the Nigerian public is agitatedly waiting. How many of all who are in the lists would be convicted, Nigerians are much more agitatedly waiting. I think if the process is religiously pursued and fairness cum patriotism is followed, there could be more lists than expected. But Nigerians seem not to be interested in the number of looters, they want convictions in order to sanitize the system.

The first list of looters, of course, has exposed some of those who have contributed in no small way in under-developing Nigeria and forcing her into recession. Their actions have caused the resultant hardship Nigerians have been facing. This move by the federal government is a step in the right direction. It is a warning for others who nurse the bad intention to steal from the nation’s purse. It is also a whip on the looters and a caveat on Nigerians to be cautious of the culprits instead of celebrating or glorifying them.

Yes, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, had in the past said that 55 persons stole N1.34 trillion under the Goodluck Jonathan-led administration. Penultimate week, 29 names who took money from the office of the former National Security Adviser, Col. Sabo Dasuki (Retd) were released. PDP chairman, former PDP financial secretary, former PDP national publicity secretary, then chairman of DAAR communications, former senior special assistant to President Goodluck Jonathan, former President Goodluck Jonathan’s cousin, amongst others, were in that list. That was a PDP list, indeed. The government followed it up on March 30, 2018 by releasing 23 names of looters, based on verifiable facts.

According to Channels TV, the minister said the released list was a tip of the iceberg as the federal government has a large number of alleged looters under its watch. He explained that the release was partly in fulfillment of the demand by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) which challenged the federal government to make public the names of treasury looters.

Though most of the names in the latest list are known in the public domain due to several declarations by the Nigerian graft agencies, they include former NSA Dasuki, former Petroleum Resources Minister Dieziani Alison-Madukwe, former Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Azubuike Ihejirika, former Chief of Defence Staff, Alex Badeh, former Comptroller General of Customs, Inde Dikko, Air Marshal Adesola Amosun, former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Senator Bala Abdulkadir, former Aviation Minister, Senator Stella Oduah, former Niger State governor. Babangida Aliyu, former Plateau State governor, Senator Jonah Jang, former Minister of State for Finance, Bashir Yuguda, Senator Peter Nwaboshi, former aide to NSA Dasuki, Aliyu Usman, former personal assistant to NSA Dasuki, Ahmad Idris, former Oyo state governor, Rasheed Ladoja, Tom Ikimi, former Aviation Minister, Femi Fani-Kayode, former PPS to President Goodluck, Hassan Tukur, former Minister of Finance, Nenadi Usman, Benedicta Iroha, close ally of former NSA Dasuki, Aliyu Usman Jawaz, Godknows Igali and Rtd. Lt.-Gen. Kenneth Minimah.

However, despite the government has hinted of the nest list, there are allegations that the names of members of the PDP, who had defected to the APC were conspicuously omitted from the first list. What Nigerians want is that more of these looters should be exposed and their cases followed constitutionally to a conclusion. The Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption, Prof. Itse Sagay (SAN), believes that the 55 persons alleged to have looted N1.34 trillion under the last regime were not in the lists so far released by the federal government. In a statement, he declared that the original list included former governors, ministers and bankers. This means that the following list(s) will be full of surprises.

There were reports that President Buhari was given specific names of oil thieves when he first visited the United States of America as the President of Nigeria. The report disclosed that some powerful Nigerians were stealing up to 250,000 barrels of Nigeria’s crude daily. Sunday Punch once reported that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had made details of over 103 high-profile corruption cases available to the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice. The list, it was revealed, contained top-ranking judicial officers, apart from the ones arrested by the State Security Services (SSS) last year. Others in the list, the reports further detailed, were former governors, some current members of the national assembly, some current ministers and other top politicians. The reports touched on the squabble that ensued between the AGF office and the two anti-graft agencies, the EFCC and ICPC over cases relating to 31 former governors and others.

The Senate Committee Chairman on Foreign and Domestic Debts, Shehu Sani, once made a shocking revelation when he declared that at least $200 billion looted from Nigeria’s treasury in the last 20 years have been stashed in the United Arab Emirates alone by former public officers and their agents/fronts. “I am not talking about estates and bonds and other securities bought with Nigeria’s stolen money”, he had told newsmen. Nigeria has signed a Mutual Legal Assistance with the UAE, identified by the federal administration as a safe haven for former corrupt public officials. Nigerians deserve to know the development resulting from the good initiative to repatriate back Nigeria’s stolen wealth squirreled away at the UAE.

The Apex Bank in the UAE once directed its commercial banks to freeze all accounts belonging to Nigerians especially the politicians. On that note, it was reported that thousands of Nigerians with bank accounts in Dubai received notices that their bank accounts have been closed in an effort to prevent money laundering, especially from Nigerian politicians who hide under the pretext of paying school fees for their children to smuggle millions of dollars into the country. The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has a duty to Nigerians on this one.

Furthermore, it was once reported that the World Bank released a list of Nigerian looters. This is in addition to revelations by the President through his special adviser on media and publicity, Femi Adesina, that Nigerians hide monies meant to develop the nation in foreign countries, in a bid to avoid paying tax. There can still be a beam of light on the list of looters released by the pioneer EFCC chairman, Nuhu Ribadu, in 2007. But Reno Omokri, a former aide to former President Jonathan announced his own list of “real looters”, apparently referring to the actual beneficiaries of fuel subsidy, those corrupt politicians found on Wikileaks, those involved in the bribery scandal involving the South African telecom giant, MTN, and revelations by Senator Shehu Sani, that the looted funds recovered by the incumbent administration have been ‘re-looted’.

The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) corroborated the reports. A 112-pages report recently launched at the Citi-Height Hotels in Lagos and titled: “Letting the Big Fish Swim: How Those Accused of High-Level Corruption are Getting away with their Crimes and Profiting from Nigeria’s Legacy of Impunity”, presented to the media by senior lecturer of law, litigation and professional ethics at the Nigerian Law School, Abuja, Dr. Esa Onoja, revealed that while the main anti-corruption agencies secured more than 1500 non-high profile convictions between 2000-2017, they could only muster 10 high profile convictions between the periods in question. According to the report, “In the investigation, prosecution and trial of high profile corruption cases in Nigeria, justice is imprisoned by snares contrived by actors in the legal community in aid of looters.”

The report mentioned convicted looters to include ex-Governor of Adamawa State, James Ngilari, former speaker of House Representatives, Salisu Buhari, former CEO of Oceanic Bank, Celicia Ibru, former governors Lucky Igbinedion and Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, amongst others, all entered plea agreements with the EFCC; former CEO of Bank of the North, Shettima Bulama.

Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) and human rights activist, Femi Falana, in response to the released lists by the federal government, observed that not a single reference was made to the most corrupt institutions in the country, one of them being the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). According to him, the corporation has been accused by the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) of illegally withholding $16.8 billion from the federation account especially since it cannot justify the “fraudulent” importation of fuel.

Most recently, an eye opener revealed how huge sums of money were “arbitrarily and illegally” approved for the Nigerian lawmakers by the Minister of Finance in collusion with the Accountant General of the Federation (AGF). A frontline investigative online media outfit, Premium Times, on 20th April, 2018 under a title: “Minister Adeosun, Saraki, Dogara, Accountant General in N10 billion fraud scandal”, revealed that the money was released to the lawmakers as part of a secret N50 billion approved for the execution of the “so-called constituency projects” discreetly inserted into the budgets of several ministries, agencies and parastatals of the Federal Republic. That, the report explained, was different from the “controversial zonal intervention projects” for which N70 billion of the N100 billion appropriated in the 2017 budget have so far been released to contractors handpicked by the lawmakers. If this report is anything to reckon, then the stand of some human rights and civil society groups on NASS bribery allegations may be unarguable.

I wish retributions and repentance to the people who made the lists so far released of looters of Nigerian national treasury! Are they to be referred to as first class degree holders in looting? That is Bachelors Degree in Treasury Looting (BA,TL)! And according to the amounts stolen by each individual, they can be classified into BA and BSc, MA, MSc, PhD or Professor of Treasury looting! That is funny, anyway. Now that they are known by Nigerians and the people of the world, methinks the best option for them is to quietly return their loots back to the owners who are Nigerians. The earlier they do so the better for the country they claim to labour to build.

Notwithstanding all the revelations mentioned above, it is a fact that not all Nigerian politicians are corrupt. With such huge salaries and allowances attached to most political offices, it is amply convincing that a lot of Nigerian politicians are contented with their legitimate earnings and do resist the temptations of being corrupt or corrupted.

2019: Nigeria’s Emerging Political Leaders, By Reuben Abati

A strong indication of both the quality and failure of politics in Nigeria, as the people look forward to the next general elections in 2019, is the manner in which virtually “every” Nigerian believes that he or she is good enough to be President of Nigeria. This may speak to a deepening of political consciousness, but it is also a reflection of the people’s anxiety and frustration about how the office and position of the President of Nigeria seems to have been mishandled and demystified. The process of that demystification has taken different shapes and tones since the return to civilian rule in 1999, but now everything seems to have gone so bad, far beyond expectation. My mechanic couldn’t have phrased this national dilemma better. He came to see me the other day, full of excitement.

“Oga, it’s you I have come to see oh.” Typical Nigerian manner of speaking: you are right in front of me, and yet you still consider it necessary to announce your presence. Anyhow, I nodded affirmatively, already working out a response to a likely solicitation for money. It is school resumption time, and it is usual for people to go soliciting for help to pay children’s school fees in a country where basic education is so unaffordable.

“Oga, I have come to inform you that I am thinking of running for President.” I thought the guy was talking about the Presidency of the Mechanics Village Association. So, I brightened up. No, he meant President of Nigeria. I removed my eyeglasses and dropped my pen.

“President of Nigeria? How? Look, have you been drinking?”

“Oga, you know I am a Christian. I don’t drink. I am serious oh. I have been thinking about it for a while. I can do a better job. The way these people are running Nigeria, some of us have good ideas about what can be done. If we leave this Nigeria to these politicians, they will finish all of us. Anybody that likes this country should get involved.”

I paid attention to him.

“Oga, look at me, I can do it. We can do it. I have worked it out. By the grace of God, I will be the next President of Nigeria.”

I had known this mechanic for a while, but I never suspected he had very tall ambitions. I had not yet given him my honest opinion; he had already conscripted me. “We can do it”. We? Every Nigerian politician is an optimist, and the most optimistic are often the ones who don’t even stand a chance at the polls.

I pretended to be interested all the same; so he continued with his campaign.

“Oga, you know me. Am I a lazy man? No. I am not.” When people insist on answering their own questions the best you can do in the circumstance is to listen.

“What this country needs now is a mechanic, somebody who can take a look at a vehicle that is having problems, and fix it. We mechanics do that every day. When they bring a car to you, first you diagnose. What is wrong with the car? Why is it not functioning well, and then you go straight to the problem and fix it. Why can’t people fix Nigeria? If we mechanics were to behave like politicians, this whole country will be littered with broken down vehicles. In the hands of these politicians, Nigeria is broken. E be like say Nigeria don knock engine sef. I am the man who will fix that engine.”

“But nobody will give you any chance. Everybody will laugh and think you are joking.”

“I am not joking, Oga. What does it take to be President? I have done my homework. The only thing they are asking for is a WAEC certificate. I have my certificate ready and I can produce it to prove that I completed secondary school.”

“How many credits?”, I asked, trying to humour him.

“INEC does not ask for five credits. Even F9 parallel sef can be President of Nigeria. No be Nigeria?”

“But you don’t have the resources. You’d need a lot of money.”

“Oga, it is not about money. And if it is money, God will provide. Our Pastor in our church has been praying for me and God is speaking to us. When I become President, I will declare free education, free health and there will no lazy youth in Nigeria again!”

“Why don’t you start at a lower level. may be local government chairman, gain some experience.”

“Ha. Oga, Experience has shown that in Nigerian politics you don’t need experience. Who has experience helped? All those former Governors in the National Assembly, what kind of experience do they have? In fact, let me just say a lot of them go there to sleep and collect free money, travel free. I have seen their pictures. They go there to sleep. When some thugs stormed the place to steal the Mace, not one of them could stand up and protect the Mace. Lazy Senators. Only a woman, a sergeant at arms was courageous enough to challenge the Mace thieves. When I am President, nobody will dare steal the Mace. It won’t happen.”

I felt like telling him that there has been too much drama over the significance of the Mace in our legislatures. It is at best a ceremonial symbol. For a session of the legislature to be valid under the 1999 Constitution what is required is a quorum as defined under Section 54, but of course the kind of criminal conduct that was put up at the Senate, last week, is condemnable and should be investigated and all authors of that act of impunity must be sanctioned accordingly. I didn’t say anything to him along these lines, rather I was more impressed by his passion, his determination to save Nigeria and arrest the drift. I was also struck by the fact that he is not the only Nigerian with such passion. There have been many of his kind, now active on social media, promoting a vision of Nigeria and insisting that they would be better materials for 2019.

The number of these aspiring Presidents keeps increasing everyday and while I consider some of their posters a bit curious and the candidates a bit unusual, taken together, the shared anxiety about the Presidency and who is best fit to lead Nigeria beyond 2019 says a lot about public expectations. There are online, video-tapes of a certain Aunty Monica, for example. She is based in Europe and she wants to come home to be President, to bring investment and tourism to the country, and she says she has “ideas in her head.” I have also seen such banners as “Vote Iya Bayo for president, Aunti Ramota for Vice President”, and “PFANN: A new refreshing wind blowing over the nation. Get ready. Elishama 2019.”

The names of a popular Fuji musician, Wasiu Alabi Pasuma, and that of the legendary footballer, Kanu Nwankwo have also been mentioned as potential Presidents of Nigeria. Neither Pasuma nor Kanu has confirmed their interest in the job. But the social media is the forum where many ideas are hatched, and many of such ideas also die on social media, but what is said about public reality should not be ignored. Nigerians want what is now referred to as the #realchange. They are disappointed. They are angry. There is also a growing resentment to the repeated claim by the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and President Buhari’s handlers that there is no alternative to Buhari. In a most recent article, Garba Shehu, a Presidential spokesperson asks what he considers “an important question” – “who do you have that is better?. Then he answers it himself; “…certainly there is no face (other than Buhari) that can be called the President of Nigeria.” Garba Shehu even scoffs at the Coalition Movement that started a protest against the two leading political parties in Nigeria – APC and PDP, and asked for a one-term Buhari Presidency. He says “a so-called Third Force has failed to gain political traction since its birth.”

My mechanic, Aunty Monica, Iya Bayo, Aunti Ramota, and Elishama – these are ordinary Nigerians- certainly disagree that only one man’s face is good for the Nigerian Presidency. They in fact believe that they will do a much better job. But perhaps the more significant development is the emergence of new faces on the political scene who are also keenly interested in rescuing Nigeria and whose declared starting point is the Presidency. I once described them as products of the Trudeau-Macron effect. Justin Trudeau, 46, became Prime Minister of Canada in 2015. Emmanuel Macron, 39 assumed office as President of France in 2017. There is also the current Chancellor of Austria, Sebastian Kurz – he is the youngest President in the world. He is 31. An emerging group of Nigerian political leaders falls into this category: they are challenging current political orthodoxies; they are educated, they are internationally exposed, they can think out of the box and above all, they are united in their resolve that President Muhammadu Buhari is replaceable in 2019. They equally pose a challenge to the traditional political elite, which so far is yet to make up its mind about presidential candidates or alternative platforms for the 2019 Presidential and general elections. The usual tendency is to dismiss them as “noise makers and attention seekers”, but they probably constitute the real “Third Force” that will produce the traction that the Presidency is yet to see.

One newspaper has identified up to about 24 of these emerging “game changers”. There is Bukunyi Olateru-Olagbegi, 27 who has registered a political party – the Modern Democratic Party (MDP). He is not running for President but the MDP could become a useful platform for youth mobilization and conscientization.

There is also Omoyele Sowore, 47, former students’ union leader, civil rights activist and founder of Sahara Reporters, an online newspaper. For the past month or so, Sowore has been on the campaign trail, addressing students and civil society groups. He has also appeared on radio and television. His main message is that Nigerian youth should “take back Nigeria” from those who have destroyed it. He has in particular been very critical of the Buhari government. “I can run Nigeria better than Buhari in my sleep”, he says. When a serving Minister, Adebayo Shittu told Sowore to go and start as a councilor, during a radio programme, Sowore held his ground. Kingsley Moghalu, 55, former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), an author and a scholar, has also declared his interest in the Nigerian Presidency. He is offering Nigeria, “bold and decisive leadership …something different … by a capable, experienced technocrat.” Like Sowore, Moghalu means business.

You also have Fela Durotoye, 47, a Presidential aspirant on the platform of the Alliance for New Nigeria (ANN). Durotoye wants to rebuild Nigeria through visionary and inspirational leadership. Alistair Soyode is the founder of BEN TV in the United Kingdom. For years, he has been reporting Nigerian stories to the world and to Africans in diaspora. Like Sowore, he has also decided to become directly involved in Nigerian politics. Other emerging aspirants include Professor Funmilayo Adesanya-Davies, 55 who says “power must go to women and the youth”; Sam Nwanti, an international detective, and a member of the Labour party, who wants to “fight crime and corruption”. Others include US-based Omololu Omotosho, Lewis Omike, a filmmaker and photographer, Dr. Thomas-Wilson Ikubese, 47, of the National Conscience Party, and 35-year old Adamu Garba II.

The temptation is to dismiss this category of aspirants as Minister Shittu has done, in part because they do not preach the message of religion, ethnicity and money, and they do not seem to have any Godfathers who can offer them existing structures in exchange for conditions of service.

Many of them may even throw in the towel before the actual race begins. The old brigade of Nigerian politics is not in a hurry to retire, change tactics or yield space. People don’t become Presidents in Nigeria by merely pasting posters and social media messages or through sheer idealism. IN 2011, Dele Momodu, 51 at the time, tried to run for President. He has many stories to tell. The Trudeau-Macron effect in our politics may still take a few more years. But it would be wrong to ignore what the new faces represent: a more deep-seated yearning for change among the youth and the middle class, and at least two of them: Sowore and Durotoye are already exercising much influence among the Nigerian youth, not just on social media but also across the educational institutions and the streets.

Nigeria Population Might Explode To A Billion By 2100

(Culled From The Washington Post)

The United Nations Population Division, which tracks demographic data from around the world, has dramatically revised its projections for what will happen in the next 90 years. The new statistics, based on in-depth survey data from sub-Saharan Africa, tell the story of a world poised to change drastically over the next several decades. Most rich countries will shrink and age (with a couple of important exceptions), poorer countries will expand rapidly and, maybe most significant of all, Africa will see a population explosion nearly unprecedented in human history.

If these numbers turn out to be right – they’re just projections and could change significantly under unforeseen circumstances – the world of 2100 will look very different than the world of today, with implications for everyone. It will be a place where today’s dominant, developed economies are increasingly focused on supporting the elderly, where the least developed countries are transformed by population booms and where Africa, for better or worse, is more important than ever.

Here is the story of the next 90 years as predicted by UN demographic data and explained in nine charts. The charts are interactive; move your cursor over them to track and compare the data.

(1) The big story will be Africa

Right now, with a couple of exceptions, Africa’s population density is relatively low; it’s a very big continent more sparsely populated than, say, Europe or East Asia. That’s changing very quickly. The continent’s overall population is expected to more than quadruple over just 90 years, an astonishingly rapid growth that will make Africa more important than ever. And it’s not just that there will four times the workforce, four times the resource burden, four times as many voters. The rapid growth itself will likely transform political and social dynamics within African countries and thus their relationship with the rest of the world. (More on this further down.)

Asia will continue to grow but its population growth, already slowing, is expected to peak about 50 years from now then start declining. As has happened in the West, rising economies will lead to declining birth rates. And that downturned curve could represent some problematic demographic issues; more also on this further down.

The story in those three little lines at the bottom is less promising. Europe will continue to shrink, which is worsening its economic problems. South America’s population will rise until about 2050, at which point it will begin its own gradual population decline. North America is the least ambiguous success story: it will continue to grow at a slow, sustainable rate, surpassing South America’s overall population around 2070.

(2) China shrinks, India plateaus; Nigeria is a very big deal

This chart shows the futures of what are, today, the world’s five most populous nations. The two big stories here are China and Nigeria, the latter of which will have almost a billion people by 2100 and will be within range of surpassing China in population. Given that Nigeria is about the area of Texas, that’s a truly astounding possibility.

Nigeria, currently Africa’s most populous country, is poised for one of the world’s most rapid population booms ever. In just 100 years, maybe two or three generations, the population is expected to increase by a mind-boggling factor of eight. The country is already troubled by corruption, poverty and religious conflict. It’s difficult to imagine how a government that can barely serve its population right now will respond when the demand on resources, social services, schools and roads increases by a factor of eight. Still, if they pull it off – the country’s vast oil reserves could certainly help – the rapidly growing workforce could theoretically deliver an African miracle akin to, say, China’s.

Chinese leaders know their demographic crisis is coming. It’s not a mystery: the country’s massive working-age population is only allowed to have one child per couple, which means that when the current generation retires, there will be a rapidly growing pool of retirees just as the workforce starts to shrink. Those aging retirees will be an enormous burden on the Chinese economy, which is just beginning to slow down. As China ages and shrinks, its workforce will get smaller at precisely the moment that it needs them most. Make no mistake, China will continue to be an enormous, important and most likely very successful country, but its demographics are going to quickly shift from a big help to a major hindrance. Keep this in mind the next time someone tells you that China is about to take over the world.

As for the other three: India’s rapidly growing population, which the country has somewhat harnessed but in many ways failed to serve, will finally plateau around 2065. Indonesia will grow moderately. The United States will grow as well, a bit more quickly than Indonesia but not a boom like India’s. Again, that’s good news for the U.S.

(3) Africa is the next Asia, maybe

This chart shows Asian and African populations from 1950 through today and projected ahead to 2100. This isn’t just a big deal because Africa will be almost as populous as Asia by 2100, after a very long time of being just a fraction of Asia’s size. It’s a big deal because it’s a reminder that growth this rapid changes everything.

Pause for a moment to consider Asia’s boom over the last 50 years – the rise of first Japan, then South Korea, now China and maybe next India – and the degree to which it’s already changed the world and will continue to change it. Africa is expected to grow even more than Asia. Between 1950 and 2050, Asia’s population will have grown by a factor of 3.7, almost quadrupling in just a hundred years. Africa’s population, over its own century of growth from 2000 to 2100, will grow by a factor of 5.18 – significantly faster than Asia.

In demographic terms, it seems, the Asian century could be followed by the African century. That’s an amazing thing. But Asia’s remarkable economic, cultural, political and social progress had to do with more than just demographics. And even that growth could end up being a curse for Africa if it doesn’t have two things that have been crucial to Asian successes: good governance and careful resource management.

Right now, many African countries aren’t particularly adept at either governance or resource management. If they don’t improve, exploding population growth could only worsen resource competition – and we’re talking here about basics like food, water and electricity – which in turn makes political instability and conflict more likely. The fact that there will be a “youth bulge” of young people makes that instability and conflict more likely.

It’s a big, entirely foreseeable danger. Whether Africa is able to prepare for its coming population boom may well be one of the most important long-term challenges the world faces right now.

(4) Africa’s boom will be sub-Saharan

Digging in to the data on African population growth finds that it’s mostly in the continent’s sub-Saharan region. These are the five most populous African countries today (excluding Nigeria, which grows so large that it made the other chart lines unreadably small). The growth looks even more eyebrow-raising when it becomes clear that it will mostly leave culturally distinct North Africa behind: it’s all focused in the sub-Saharan countries. South Africa also will grow more slowly.

Take a look at Tanzania, which is today one of the poorest countries in the world. As of 2000, it had 34 million people; California’s population was the same that year. Today, Tanzania has about 45 million people. By 2100, its population is projected to be 276 million – almost the size of the entire United States today, and by then one of the largest countries in the world. The stories of other African countries may be similar: Ethiopia and the Democratic Republic of Congo are projected to be almost as large.

Even if this demographic prediction does turn out to be accurate, we have no way of knowing what a massively populous Tanzania of 2100 would look like. If it remains as poor and troubled as it is today, it doesn’t bode well: water and food resources will only get scarcer as it’s divided among more and more people, as will whatever money the government makes exporting natural resources. That typically leads to instability and a higher risk of conflict. But, as in Asia, there’s also a real opportunity for the future Tanzania to put its growing population to work building the economy. The question of how to get there, though, is not an easy one.

(5) Systemic shift to developing and least-developed countries

First, the definitions: the “developed” countries, the blue line, include Europe, the United States, Japan, South Korea and other Western countries. The “developing countries,” the green line, includes countries such as Mexico or Russia or Brazil; China and India would normally be in this category but I’ve pulled them out. The “least developed,” in purple, includes, for example, Haiti, Bangladesh and much of Africa.

What’s clear looking at this chart is that for all the rapid growth seen in India and China, both countries are about to be outpaced by the rest of the developing world. The poorest countries will grow especially rapidly, from 663 million people to almost 3 billion; if those countries stay stuck in their current state of development, many may be unable to handle the population booms.

The biggest question may be that green line: do those developing countries continue to develop, following earlier success stories like South Korea and Taiwan? What happens when Southeast Asian or Middle Eastern or Latin American countries see South Korea-style success stories? Look at how much Korea’s successes have already changed the world. We may be seeing a lot more of that in the next century.

(6) The future of the developed world is American

Whether or not you believe that the U.S.’s global dominance will be challenged by “the rise of the rest,” as Fareed Zakaria describes the coming global development, the demographics strongly suggest that U.S. leadership within the developed world will only strengthen.

In Europe, Northeast Asia and the broader Anglosphere, most countries will be seeing demographic stagnation or outright decline, which in turn will make those countries less competitive, especially as the rest of the world booms. Populations will continue aging and shrinking or will stay, at best, basically level.

The one really hopeful case is the United States, which, as you can see, expects pretty healthy, sustained growth. Immigration to the U.S. is the big factor here, the thing that helps inure the U.S. to the demographic decline haunting the rest of the developed world. Usually, countries see their populations decline as soon as they get rich, making their success almost self-defeating. Immigration helps the U.S. to do what very few other countries, including China, has yet figured out: how to be a rich country with a growing population.

(7) Immigration slows Western stagnation

If you take the U.S. out of the above chart, that makes it a little easier to see the distinction between developed countries that have robust immigration and those that don’t. Germany, Japan and South Korea – which, like most of the developed world, tightly restrict immigration – all see declines. But the United Kingdom and France, which allow some immigration from their former colonies, are projected to enjoy modest but healthy population growth. It’s not quite as pronounced as in the United States, but it will likely help them avoid some of the demographic-led economic decline projected in the rest of Europe. It’s an irony that more than 150 years after the end of colonialism, its two widest practitioners will continue to benefit.

(8) Narrowing, but not closing, the life expectancy gap

This is one of two major factors in Asia’s ongoing population boom and Africa’s coming boom. The average lifespan on both continents is going way, way up. In Africa, it will increase by 50 percent over just a century. That’s a remarkable accomplishment. By the end of this century, African life expectancy is expected to approximate the North American average today – but it will still be the lowest in the world.

Europe’s average life span is projected to be 87.6 and North America’s will be 89. That’s an amazing medical accomplishment, but gives economists panic attacks: how do you sustain your economy if the average worker spends a third of his or her life on retirement?

The second factor driving Africa’s population boom is birth rates. Here is the big number that the UN’s new population data uncovered: the average African fertility rate between 2005 and 2010 was 4.9 children per woman. That’s an extremely high number and will cause the sort of youth bulge that developmental economists warn can be economically and politically destabilizing. But it’s tough for policymakers to slow this down, for cultural and religious reasons as well as because, even if too-high fertility might be bad for the region, individual families have every economic incentive to have lots of children.

(9) This is the most important chart on this page

Don’t close the page yet! This is a big one. The “dependency ratio” is the ratio of people under age 15 or over age 64 to the number of people age 15 to 64. The idea is that people who are very young or very old are dependent on others to provide for them. If the “dependency ratio” is 40 percent, that means that there are 40 children or elderly to every 100 working age people. Another way of putting it is that 40 out of every 140 people is a child or elderly person. The higher this ratio, the more people depend on the government, the higher the rest of society’s burden for supporting them.

Right now, Africa’s dependency ratio is high. Really high: about 80 percent. This means that only 56 percent of Africans are working-age. That’s a huge burden on society and a big contributor to poverty. And most of those “dependent age” Africans are very young. (If you’ve ever wondered about the proliferation of child soldiers in Africa, this is part of why: there just aren’t enough 20-something men, but there are lots of children.) But as the birth rate slows and those young dependents enter the work force, the dependency ratio is going to fall, dropping to 60 percent by 2055.

That’s huge. It increases the share of the population that can contribute and lowers the share that uses resources without contributing. The flip side, though, is that having a lot of young people – specifically, young men – can worsen any political instability and can create instability if resources are scarce. Look, for example, at the Arab world today, where a youth bulge contributed to the protests that became revolutions in some cases and civil wars in others. It’s chancy.

Meanwhile, the rest of the world is going to see the opposite trend, and that’s bad news. As birth rates fall, people age and life expectancy rises, we’re going to see dependency ratios increase not just across the developed world but across, save for Africa, basically all of it.

Europe will get the worst of it, with the average dependency ratio hitting an Africa-style 76 percent in 2055. A generation later, South America’s is expected to reach a deeply worrying 82 percent by 2100. Asia has a few decades to prepare: its dependency ratio, currently low, will stay low until it starts to rise around 2050.

And that’s the story of the world’s demographic future, nine decades of population booms and declines that will have unforeseeable but surely transformative political and economic consequences. These numbers aren’t destiny, of course, and lots of people are already trying to change them: developmental economist warning Africa it’s not prepared for the coming boom, European leaders trying to spur population growth, Chinese officials who may overturn the one-child policy and lots of others. But this is the direction the data points today. Whatever happens, it should be quite a century.

The Nigerian Youths Are Lazy: A Response To President Muhammadu Buhari By Binzak Azeez

The Nigerian National Youth Policy (2009) defines youths as those between the ages of 18-35 years. The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) reported that 29 million Nigerians under labour force were unemployed, and more than 80% of them were youths. It is evident that the Nigerian system makes life unbearable for youths. They crave for livelihood but the system obstructs their effort.

It was reported that the Youth Empowerment Scheme, part-time menial jobs introduced by some State Governments had almost 2.5 million graduate applicants of which 152,000 youths were eventually employed at estimation. Despite the peanut monthly allowance and insecurity of this employment, the unemployed ones aspired for such opportunity.

In 2014, the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) recorded 125, 000 applicants from Abuja and Lagos alone who applied for 4,500 job vacancies at NIS offices. Many youths lost their life while hundreds sustained varying degrees of injury in a stampede that ensued in the application process.

Over the years, thousands of youths between 18-26 years regularly apply for recruitment forms into the Nigerian Army. The pivotal reason for the yearly mass application is connected with poverty and frustration. Many apply for the form to secure a livelihood without considering the challenges ahead of them in the field.

Despite the unemployment rate in the country, the Nigerian youths are resolute to pursue academic excellence. UTME 2018 database revealed that 1, 502, 978 candidates registered for the 2018 UTME test and 88% of the applicants were youths. Moreover, the admitted students in tertiary institutions encounter numerous challenges such as outrageous increment in the tuition fees, poor welfare, incessant strike yet they refuse to drop out of the University system.

The Nigerian youths are not lazy, they only need the avenues to display their potency, brilliancy and worth but the system is yet to create such opportunities. The national cake that is being shared by a group of Nigerians has left millions of youths hopeless and helpless. Each of the 109 Nigerian senators receives #13.5 million as monthly running cost, #7500 as monthly pay and over #200 million as constituency allowance while each of the 360 lawmakers in the House of Representatives receives #11.5 million monthly running cost aside other allowance.

This institutionalised daylight corruption is also extended to other government parastatals. Aside from the legalized outrageous allowance, billions of Naira are being siphoned on daily basis. It is saddened that President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration has failed to fix the problem as promised during his presidential campaign in 2015.

Realistically, the government cannot afford to employ all its citizens, but it must create job opportunities and provide essential services for all. Job opportunities are created when government invested on technological, educative and medical research. Research gives birth to new ideas that transform into employment opportunities. Moreover, the establishment of industries, promotion of local goods, proper funding of all public sectors, public empowerment programmes contribute monumentally in building the nation and its people. It is pathetic that Muhammadu Buhari-led administration doesn’t include these nation building policies to his agenda.

The British youths are neither intelligent nor laborious than the Nigerian youths. The difference between both is that the former have the opportunity to display their potentials while the latter are denied of it. For instance, education is a birth right to every British citizen. It is a monetized enterprise which is accessible to the rich in Nigeria. The British government embarks on research, establishment of industries, promotion of local goods and empowerment programmes, the Nigerian government doesn’t only rely on foreign goods but also invest the embezzled national endowment in other nations.
President Muhammadu Buhari should stop making mockery of intellectualism.

The Nigerians entrusted him with power to liberate the country from hurdles. He is not expected to continue playing the blame game till his administration expires. The incumbent administration has only intensified its effort at criticism while synergy on nation’s building is latent. The recent verbal assault on youths indicates that Nigerians are the architects of the country’s predicament. Nigerians aspire for a leader that would proffer a remedy to their suffering. President Buhari is recontesting for presidency but believes that Nigerians are the challenges bedevilling the nation. The discrepancy between President Muhammad Buhari candidacy and the Nigerians’ demand is visible to the blind.

Nigeria’s Lazy Conversation By Lasisi Olagunju

In 2014, Richard Dunne made a dubious history by becoming the highest own goal scorer in Premier League history. He scored ten of such backward goals – six at Manchester City, three at Aston Villa and the tenth at QPR. President Muhammadu Buhari is in the same class. He loves exhibiting a raw talent for slamming the ball into his own net. He scored a loud one at the Commonwealth last week. Our president mortally hurt his army of youthful worshippers. Buhari announced to the whole world that a lot of Nigerian youths under his care “do nothing,” “have not been to school” and yet want everything, including education and health, free of charge.

That London gaffe was a blow that has left his fans of “illiterate” youths dazed. But the one who burnt down the village barn would have at least one ardent lover. And you know, when in love, the other person comes first in care and happiness. Wounded and alarmed, lovers of Buhari quickly recovered and reached for clean water to bathe their idol, hence the sly attempt to drag Chief Obafemi Awolowo into the Buhari ‘lazy’ talk. They claim that what Buhari said in 2018, Awo had also said 44 years ago. They claim that Chief Awolowo in 1974 said the trouble with Nigerian youths was that they slept too much. And they quoted him copiously.

It was easy for Buharists and Buharideens to cut and paste Awo’s sentence. They won’t cut and paste the context of the statement. Chief Awolowo spoke in the context of having access to free education as an inalienable right of every citizen. Where that access was provided and some persons still preferred sleep over learning was what he condemned. General Buhari is the opposite of Awo. He did not speak as a philosopher on the same wave length with Awo. Unlike Chief Awolowo, President Buhari made “doing something” a condition for accessing free education and free health. That is Buharism, not Awoism – and it is quite revealing. If you don’t like my drift, go and read our president again.

The president for the first time spoke about free education. And what did he say? His verdict is that the Nigerian youth must work before qualifying for free education. That is the opposite of what Awo stood for. If Awo’s welfarist position was the thesis, Buhari’s blot was the very antithesis. And this too: I thought a man cannot lose an in-law unless he has a wife; but with General Buhari, a bachelor can validly claim that his in-law is dead. Is it logical for someone who does not want to be educated to be demanding free education? Our president did not ask himself that question before he spoke in London on Wednesday. He claimed that “a lot of” the youths of his country “do not do anything” and “have not been to school”…yet they want “…education free of charge.” I do not understand our president. Can someone who has never gone to school and who does not want to be educated be, at the same time, said to be demanding free education? My English teacher taught me something about coherence and cohesion. I cannot see either in that presidential statement.

But why have we all stopped working since last week because President Buhari suggested that “a lot of the youths” of Nigeria are lazy bones? Everyone has not stopped whining since. Why are we angry? Is it not the truth that anyone who keeps his chains is a lazy fool? So, you do not know that a soul in fetters is an idle doll? If the youth is not lazy, he would do something and break the shackles.

“I was born a slave, but nature gave me the soul of a free man.” That was Toussaint Louverture’s engagement of his life of slavery. Louverture was the leader of the slaves who brought down France’s Saint-Dominique and created Haiti – their own country. Today, the Haitian revolution is proudly listed as “one of the most successful slave revolutions in world history.” The revolution did not just bring an end to slavery like other slave revolts, it moved a huge step forward by creating the world’s first country of ex-slaves. When is the Nigerian youth stepping out to create his own country of freedom?

To the rich and powerful, there is only one explanation for being poor, and that is indolence. The weak poor is powerless and poor because he is lazy. The slaves of Saint-Dominique revolted when they thought they had had enough of the oppression of their overlords. The cup of Nigeria too should be full one day. Until it is full, the kids of the poor will remain lazy and illiterate. My greatest fear is that when the bubble bursts in here, the ‘lazy’ will go for the wrong victims. The slaves will go for their defenceless defenders. There is the Irore bird in Yorubaland. Weak and threatened, it builds its nest close to bees and wasps. When it does that, it escapes the killing fingers of wanton boys. The slave owners of Nigeria are weak but they have moats around them. They are big men with incredible foresight. They do not live near their victims. They live in fortresses built of distance and weapons. They are wisely ensconced in cocoons of pleasure and calm and peace. They are far from the inanities of the madding crowd. They are safe and can proudly pronounce the youths of their country idle and uneducated.

Our president is bold, blunt and consistent. What he says in “the other room,” unreported, he goes to London to magnify. And you are in Nigeria, whining, stomping your feet on the canvas of power. What can the angry goat do to its confident owner? The mind of power is a marvel: If you are not lazy, you would be working in the Central Bank like their children. You would be in the Federal Inland Revenue Service and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation like their in-laws.

I can imagine what remains in that mind that belched last week’s London declaration. And he didn’t see the horror on the white faces that heard him. That country he chose for that ‘lazy’ talk takes care of all its youths. It cares for young people in work; for young people looking for work; for young people in school; for young people out of school and for those looking for education. Our own leaders here look at the youth and his sweat and wonder what the problem is with him. They say even when the youth is allowed some privileges to have good jobs, he still insists on going to scavenge abroad. Because he is lazy, all he thinks about is traveling out to create problems for the white man in his own country. The president said so the last time he was out of Nigeria. The children of the lazy are the poor causing logjams hawking on the streets and at foreign embassies. No matter how much help you give them, they insist they must go to the dunghill to scavenge. A lion’s cub will never be seen walking the dense forest without the royal swag. Carrion is meat for vultures; leopards don’t eat rotten flesh.

Nigeria is hostile to the young. It is true. But the solution is not in short-cuts. President Buhari’s lovers would insist he was right. Maybe it is true that the Nigerian youth is laid back and lacks a vision of himself in freedom. They want gold without digging for it. Our president spoke what the white man said 300 years ago. A 1798 entry of the Encyclopedia Britannica accused the black man of: idleness, treachery, revenge, cruelty, impudence, stealing, lying, profanity, debauchery, nastiness and intemperance.”

Very extremely unfair, racist assessment! But whose fault? You won’t find that characterization in any encyclopedia today, but it does not mean that much has changed. What changed is the level of diplomacy of the white man. Today, some persons here, even if it would cost them election or reelection, won’t mind using these very words for their countrymen. The specimens used for that 18th century assessment were slaves sold abroad by their kith and kin. Today’s victims are those being forced by the system to sell themselves to slavery. But can you have your country by running away from it? “A friend just left a N1million-per-month job to relocate to Canada. That is like the 4th person around me relocating in the last six months. What is happening in Canada? It is getting scary.” That is from a very brilliant young man lamenting on Facebook two weekends ago. One of his friends reacted adding his own worries: “Many of my friends are relocating en masse. I mean, well established guys with well-paying jobs in Nigeria. It is really disturbing.” Running away from Nigeria won’t make life better for anyone; definitely not for the refugee.

Toussaint Louverture “was born a slave” but he was clear that nature gave him “the soul of a free man.” He did not sit down lamenting his life in slavery. He did not run away either. He stayed, fought and broke down the walls of servitude and a free Haiti was born. Buhari won’t change his “lazy” opinion because we are abusing him. Nothing and no one will make him recant. What will convince the resolute is the resolve of the “lazy” to do something positive about his station in life. In 1798, the black man was lazy. One hundred and thirteen years later in 1911, the world saw no reason to modify its opinion of the black man. It was even worse. The Eleventh Edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica (1911) notes that black children who were “sharp, intelligent and full of vivacity” in childhood soon got degraded on approaching adulthood. “The intellect,” it says “seemed to become clouded, animation giving place to a sort of lethargy, briskness yielding to indolence…”

That was it. Indolence again! The authors felt the black man had remained where he had always been- a burden unto the world; an enemy of no one else but of himself. Were they wrong? Even today, 2018, what is our own opinion of ourselves? Our president spoke in London and the world heard him clearly

Buhari’s 2019 Bid And Matters Arising By Garba Shehu

The country is gearing itself up for the General Elections in February next year and with President Muhammadu Buhari announcing that he will bid for the governing party, APC’s ticket to run for a second term, all hell has been let loose by the chaotic, ill-prepared opposition camp.

In democracies around the globe, second terms by incumbents are usually harder to get simply because, somehow, there is always some kind of anti-incumbency leading to a loss of faith among those supporters.

For President Buhari, who won with massive votes in 2015, his major challenge is to do as well as he did, or even better. He came to power with a lot of expectations and Nigerians had, justifiably placed very high hopes on him.

As we said sometimes back, he as a consequence, has become a victim of the tyranny of expectations. The weight of unrealistic expectations has evidently blinded many of the people from seeing the revolutionary changes happening across the nation.

Nigerians expected him to undo the damage in several decades of misgovernance and naturally, many are already feeling frustrated that he hadn’t done that in three years.

The problem with our opposition is that beyond fault-finding, they are unable to give or innovate a vision of their own on how they can make the nation better.

A so-called Third Force has failed to get political traction since it birth. This is understandable, given that they have promised to give the country everything that is new but have so far produced no new faces, no new ways of doing things. Certainly, there is no face that can be called the President of Nigeria.

For the Peoples’ Democratic Party, PDP parading itself on the glory of being the largest opposition, the party has not less than 10 leaders acutely ambitious to rule Nigeria. It will take them minimally two to three terms of presidential tenure that is eight to twelve years to reinvent the party.

Looking at the entire opposition landscape, it can be said that they cannot be united by ideology, the type that made the pre-2015 opposition fuse into a formidable challenger that pushed an incumbent out of office. There is in no way therefore, they can choose leaders with unanimity.

What then they have taken to, is scaremongering by fanning ethnic and religious divisions among the minorities especially in the Middle Belt where hundreds of innocent citizens are confronted with violent death.
Before they take the words out of my mouth, let me state that the spate of those killings are tragic and unacceptable. They ought not happen and I am aware of how sad the Presidency is about these unfortunate goings-on.
And there is so much that is being done to end the killings.

More, however, could still have been achieved if there is cooperation extended to the security agencies by everyone, and by everyone, I mean especially the political opposition. A political warlord recently ordered the provocative stoning of a Nigerian Air Force personnel as their chopper landed in a Northeastern state.

Today, government has irrefutable evidence that much as most of these killings are arising from herdsmen-farmers attacks, some of it is driven by politicians. The recent arrests by the army in Taraba State point to a clear political sponsorship, and the kingpins, some of whom have been arrested have been handed over to the DSS for further investigation. Others who are being sought have either gone into hiding or they are pulling strings of blackmail to force the hands of government to abandon the search for them.

It is clear by now that the Middle Belt killings even if they are not caused by the opposition are no doubt seen as a political opportunity to set the tone for the 2019 elections.

Another matter of great disappointment is the ongoing attempt to victimize a group of religious leaders, the Arewa Pastors Initiative for Peace, representing 45,000 members, simply because they paid a visit to President Buhari. We see this development as an unnecessary distraction at a time the country should be united against its common problems and challenges.

We are both mystified and disturbed by the growing lack of tolerance and accommodation by some groups who see it as their birth right to visit and address the President on their issues but lack the modicum of respect for others to do the same. It is regrettable that an innocuous visit is becoming a subject of needless and unprintable attacks on the President and his visitors for doing nothing wrong.

For the avoidance of doubt, the President would not want to set a dangerous precedent for the country by discriminating against any group exercising their democratic rights of freedom of speech and association.
An important motivation for President Buhari’s bid for second term is that the gains made from 2015 should not be frittered.

Buhari is not involved in corruption and is not desperate for the office. He is among the few leaders we have who are not obsessed with money, cars and homes but working passionately for the country’s economy, peace and safety. If a corrupt politician wins, we will go back to where we were in 2015.

Many by now have forgotten where we are coming from. The daily bomb blasts in our cities between 2012 and 2015 including the deadly attack on the United Nations office in Abuja have been forgotten by many. The Juma’at Mosque bomb attack on Kano that left 300 dead and the theft of 270 girls in Chibok as they assembled to write their final exams, with 113 yet to return have for many, faded into history.

We lived in perpetual fear. I remember the story of the roadside Mosque in one settlement in which a black plastic bag was noticed by the congregation as the Imam led in prayer. The entire congregation fizzled out, the Imam realizing that he was left alone only from the eerie air of silence after everyone had quietly left.

Today, religious gatherings and crowded markets have resumed. Witnesses reported that Abuja and Kaduna witnessed the largest simultaneous assembly of people when the Tijjaniyya Islamic movement celebrated their Maulud a week ago without the fear of bomb blasts.

Cabinet meetings are now about how trillions of Naira are to be used to provide long delayed infrastructure such as roads, bridges, railway, power, drugs and equipment for hospitals. Grand corruption, by which ministers sat around the table to share money drawn from the treasury has been ended.

A majority of our people are farmers who depend on good rains, access to land and fertilizer to grow the food they eat and sell the surplus to make money for school fees for their children and where possible, add a wife or two and make the Hajj or other plans. This administration has broken the jinx of fertilizer shortage and its high cost and has put land clearing for agriculture on a priority.

Loans at low or no interest rates are being given by the Central Bank of Nigeria, the Bank of Agriculture, the Bank of Industry and the Development Bank. It will take years to raise our rising population from poverty. Even in China, with the world’s fastest growing economy, this, still, is a work in progress.

The administration is doing so much for women, children and our enterprising youths. This is the first time anyone has given our country a social welfare scheme.

Offa Robbery And The Audacity Of Criminality By Tayo Ogunbiyi

Recent armed robbery operation that threw the ancient town of Offa, Kwara State, into pandemonium for hours was executed in a most daring commando fashion. According to reports, dare devil armed robbers who stormed the town in audacious fashion divided themselves into two teams upon arrival, with the first team demobilizing the Police Station while the rest unleashed unhindered horror on bank premises and residents. In the process, five bank branches were allegedly raided while about 32 people, including Police officers, reportedly lost their lives in the dastardly operation that lasted two hours.

The robbers purportedly made away with large amount of cash from the branches of Zenith Bank, Guarantee Trust Bank, Union Bank, First Bank and Eco Bank in the town. The blatant nature of the occurrence has fueled new concerns about the state of security in the country. As it is always the cases with such high scale robbery schemes, banks raided as well as residents are still counting their losses. Similarly, some of the customers that were trapped in the banks as well as other residents, while the operation lasted, are yet to get over the traumatic experience. Indeed, some of them might live with the shock of the horrible experience for a long time to come.

Meanwhile, the Nigeria Police have reportedly arrested some suspects in connection with the armed robbery incidence. According to reports, after the attack, the Police team engaged in raids of identified criminal spots, stop and search operations, visibility and confidence building patrols, intelligence gathering which led to the arrest of the suspects. In the process, some of the suspects reportedly engaged the Police in fierce gun duels from their various hideouts.

Now that the dust gathered by the sad event is gradually settling down, it is imperative to properly scrutinize some of its far-reaching fallouts. First, it is instructive to stress that the Police offered little or no resistance to the robbers throughout the operation. The robbers held sway for as long as they wanted with such irritating audacity. This only goes to actually confirm what have been the fears of many Nigerians concerning the preparedness level of men and officers and men of the Nigerian Police to deal with such brazen attacks.

It smacks of unbelievable effrontery for robbers to daringly hold the second largest town in Kwara State hostage for as long as they did. The puzzle herein is that if banks, public institutions and residents are not really assured of their safety in a place as big as Offa, what then is the lot of those who are located in places where there are little or no police presence of any sort? Your guess is as good as mine. This is a rather disturbing trend that the Police authorities and the leadership of the various security agencies have to properly look into. In as much as one understands the various challenges of the Police in particular, it doesn’t speak well of us as a nation that a gang of robbers could hold a whole town hostage for hours without any resistance whatsoever from security operatives. If this odd pattern is not frontally addressed, it portends a great danger for us as a people.

The Offa robbery episode also calls attention to the deplorable situation of youth in the country. It is pathetic that the youth who should normally be in the vanguard of nation building are taking to destructive social vices. This, if not quickly checked, signifies a bleak future for our dear nation. Usually, if the prevailing condition in a given society does not offer the youth the needed platform to channel their bursting energy into positive use, they readily embrace rebellious predisposition. It is a well known fact that nature abhors vacuum.

Sadly, the high unemployment situation in the country coupled with other socio-political factors naturally make the youth vulnerable to several anti-social temptations. Recent statistics show that 60 per cent of the country’s population is youth while youth unemployment rate is estimated to be over 50 percent. Similarly, figures from the National Bureau of Statistics indicate that an average of 1.8 million youths find themselves in the labour market annually, out of which 250, 000 to 300, 000 are graduates. Additionally, the unemployment rate in the country is given to be about 23.9 per cent. Hence, faith based organisations, key social-cultural bodies, related government agencies and other youth based stakeholders should continue invest in the development and empowerment of the youth. This is, perhaps, the best way to preserve public security in the country.

Equally, all stakeholders in security must not relent in their efforts in the onerous task of checkmating robbers and criminals in the country. It is only a common frontal response that could effectively forestall future occurrence of such dastardly robbery act as the one recently experienced in Offa. Public security cannot be obtained without the active involvement, participation and support of everyone in the society. With the issue of insufficient manpower in the Nigeria Police Force in particular, it is quite obvious that the Police alone cannot sufficiently protect the people. Latest data shows that the entire Nigerian Police Force does not have up to 450,000 personnel in its fold and out of this a significant proportion is assigned to secure a few highly placed individuals. It is yet to be seen how a Police Force with such inadequate personnel could effectively secure a nation of over 140 million people. This, indeed, is an indication that security apparatus in the country needs to be considerably overhauled.

To properly address current security question in the country, we need to urgently revisit the contentious issue of State Police. In-spite of all the arguments against State Police, the reality is that Nigeria is too large and complex to be policed centrally. If we are really serious about overcoming current security challenges in the polity, the time to embrace the option of state police is now. A viable and dynamic security system is required to sustain significant development and ensure adequate security of life and property. The Police as we currently have in the country might not be able to ensure effective security across the nation.

We need to come to term with the fact that, State Police is a necessity in a federal system like Nigeria if we are to effectively combat crime as it is being practiced by other federating units the world over. Given the required political will, we can successfully and efficiently operate State Police in the country. The time has come for us to give the subject the desired attention. God bless Nigeria.

Fitness: Five Effective Exercises You Can Do At Home

Fitness has always been said to be one of the most effective ways to live a healthy life, and as we develop we are told by fitness instructors that you don’t just get to live a healthy life, you can also shape your body to look like what you’ve always dreamed of.

In a country still on its way to development like Nigeria, you’d be surprised to know that people still get very shy engaging in morning/evening jogs (well that’s if the road on your street is good) because they feel it is such a weird thing to do, and honestly it is especially if you live in Lagos where sitting in Traffic is enough to get you in shape. Good thing about keeping fit is that you can do it in the comfort of your bedroom and here are 5 effective exercises to add into your routine in the morning before getting ready for work.

  1. Bodyweight Squat: This exercise is easy and does not require any form of equipment making it the perfect indoor workout. Bodyweight Squat. Squats are generally known to work on your leg muscles, hips and bum. Squats can be painful in the first few days but as the days go by and your number of daily squats increases, your leg muscles become strong enough for the routine. To practice this ensure you stand tall with your hands either at the back of your head or stretched right in front of you, spread your feet slightly wider than your shoulders (sometimes the level at which you spread your legs are determined by your height and how low your body can take you especially in the beginning), keeping your torso as upright as you can for the entire movement, with your lower back slightly arched take yourself slowly down and bring your self back up.

2. Sit-Up: This routine helps with your stomach and back, as a matter of fact I feel it works well for the whole body as it helps you lift yourself with easy. To practice this routine lay flat on the floor with your feet on the floor and your knees raised above the rest of your body, place your hand beneath your head to make lifting yourself easier. Bring yourself up to your knees and go back down gently.

3. Planks: This works extensively with the back and stomach muscles, and it’s one of the exercises that look simple to the eye but difficult to carry out. To perform the plank routine lie flat facing the floor with your legs and arms slightly spread apart. Raise yourself with your legs and hands and be on a straight level, making sure your bum is not higher than the rest of your body. Some trainers will say it is important to make you stomach firm to get faster results. This routine requires to staying in that one position for the number of seconds or minutes you have planned.

4. Jumping Jacks: This is also the perfect in-door exercise as no equipment is required. Jumping jack can most times serve as the first exercise in your daily routine serving as a warm up exercise for the others. With arms and legs spread slightly apart, jumping jack like its name implies require that you jump. As you jump make sure your hands and legs are not doing the same thing, meaning if you jump to close your legs make sure your hands are open and if you jump to open your legs make sure your hands are doing the complete opposite.

5. Push-Up: This help really well in shaping your arms and getting rid of fatty arms. There are various types of push-ups and as a beginner it is best to start with the knee push up where you lie flat on the floor pushing yourself up while your knees remain on the floor. The more difficult pushup requires you push your entire body up with your hands while your toes remain firmly on the ground. It also helps to build a body that is strong, reliable and able to get on for the days’ work.

And as recommended by Medical Practitioners and Fitness Specialists, at least 5 minutes of exercise everyday encourages metabolism, helps the heart and gets the body going.

NOTE: Taking Water Every Morning is also an essential thing that must be inculcated by all. It is expected, healthy and good for the body.


The Sexploiter And His Cousins By Azu Ishiekwene

Afeez Baruwa could be on his last mile to jail. Or he could be going home a free man.

Three years ago, the former lecturer in the Department of Accounting at the University of Lagos cornered an 18-year-old girl.

The girl’s father, a friend of Baruwa’s, had sent her to the lecturer for help to gain admission. Baruwa apparently had other plans: he allegedly seized the poor girl, overpowered her and raped her in his office.

The case has been in court for nearly three years and came up again on Wednesday. The state has closed its case; and Justice Josephine Oyefeso of the Ikeja High Court will decide, perhaps on June 14 or later, whether Baruwa goes to jail or walks home a free man.

Baruwa has many cousins in sexploitation, the campus variety of which is the non-academic business of trading sex for grades, or generally extorting sex even from female students unwilling to engage in such tradeoff. One of Baruwa’s cousins, Professor Richard Akindele, has been in the news lately. The professor of Accounting at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife (OAU), has been dragged out in a sad and sensational audio recording in which he was bargaining for multiple rounds of sex to upgrade a failed student. He offered to give the student who scored 33 percent at least an “E”, if she would sleep with him five times.

The matter is not in court yet, but the outcome of Baruwa’s court case might send a signal to campuses nationwide that this sexpidemic cannot continue receiving soft treatment.

For a while after the allegations of sexual harassment against Akindele went viral, the authorities at OAU were behaving as if they needed a voodoo priest to explain the gravity of the allegations.

The school called a press conference to address the issue, canceled it hours before it was due to hold, and later issued a statement about investigations.

It has taken nearly two weeks and a wringer for the school to find the section of its own code of conduct that says that when a prima facie case has been established, “the Vice-Chancellor shall suspend such staff from office pending the final determination of the case.”

Not unexpectedly, the school has come under pressure from highly placed religious people, who worked the hotlines at the highest levels, pleading that, “it was the work of the devil.”

For all you know, Akindele may have returned to the classroom from his sabbatical or extended leave of sorts, with version 2.0 of Accounting 101 modified to include offline tutorials on how many rounds of sex equals the lowest pass mark.

It’s not funny.

Grapevine sources have hinted that the major problem of the investigating panel was also compounded by the reluctance of the accuser to come forward.

Some even said the incident occurred earlier, that the victim has graduated and is afraid that the Senate might withdraw her degree if she comes forward, since her testimony would be proof that she obtained her degree fraudulently. And wait for this – that the victim’s boyfriend had been using the audio recording to extort money from Akindele who got fed up and asked the victim and her boyfriend to go to hell.

That hardly makes sense. If the victim slept with the lecturer early on, passed the course and left the school, she’ll be a fool in a hand basket to go public. The probable reason why she has gone public is that she’s trapped in the school and hopes that this desperate step might save her.

Farfetched excuses about her motive are apparently being invented by people who are taking advantage of the lukewarm attitude of the University towards the matter, even when the call log of the accused drips with his own testosterone.

The University appears to be more interested in protecting its reputation than in rooting out any nest of sexual predators in the system.

Besides, there may be many more undiscovered culprits of such sexual predation in the University with a guilty conscience. And it would be hard for them to cooperate in punishing one of them who only happens to have been foolish to have been found out, as they might see it.

Instead of behaving like an old Boy’s Club, OAU should keep in mind that it also has a fiduciary duty to protect its staff and students. It can and will be liable for any action that tends to suggest negligence or a cover-up in a case where the campus has become a predator’s playground.

An audio recording similar to the one in OAU went viral two years ago when Muhammed Idiagbon, then the head of department of English at the University of Ilorin, demanded sex in his office from a 200-level student, whom he repeatedly accused of being “unserious,” adding intermittently that, “you’re not the only one.”

When Idiagbon was found out, he accused his “envious colleagues” of setting him up only to resign his appointment before the school finished investigations in the matter.

Even though the school promised at the time that it would complete the investigation and make its findings public, the matter was swept under the carpet after Idiagbon’s resignation.

We can almost hear that same echo in OAU, an echo of the authorities just wanting to close this chapter and move on.

It’s a matter for regret that neither the students’ union of OAU nor the academic staff union of the university has said a word since the Akindele scandal broke.

Two years ago, when the National Assembly was debating the Sexual Harassment Bill, ASUU opposed it vigorously, saying that it would infringe on the autonomy of universities. The union insisted that the code of conduct in each university was perfectly capable of dealing with matters of sexual misconduct.

Well, there’s no Nigerian university website that I know of – and I checked OAU, University of Ibadan, University of Lagos, University of Benin, University of Nigeria, Ahmadu Bello University and Ado Bayero University – that has any resource on sexual assault on its website. Not a word.

In fact, the OAU website, which comes closest doing this, only defines misconduct in general terms, focusing largely on its impact; not on the individual, but on the reputation of the university. It is silent on predatory sex, one of the perennial scourges of higher schools.

It’s fair to say that if laws or codes alone were sufficient to curb sexual exploitation, members of the National Assembly will not be snatching female children from the cradle in forced marriages. And videos of senators in twosome orgies during recess will not be two-for-a-kobo.

The real problem is that when outrages like OAU and others happen, we shout, complain and just slink off, with hardly enough courage or stamina to stand up long enough for what we know is right, until the next horror story.

If students in OAU insist that justice must be done and must be seen to be done; if rights groups step up to offer the victim protection and insist that the school will be taken to court if the matter is not satisfactorily treated; if independent education watchdogs have credible public advisory, which includes resources for tackling sexual predation and safety in general, perhaps we would not be where we are now.

It’s been said that female students sometimes set themselves up for – even invite – predators by their lifestyles. That may be true, but lecturers, who believe, like Oscar Wilde, that the only way to overcome temptation is to yield, have no place in the Ivory Tower.

The body of evidence, so far, including a 2015 study on sexual assault by Harvard University among 26 universities in the US, shows that perpetrators of sexual misconduct are largely male faculty members, confirming existing data that one woman in five is usually assaulted while in college.

Let’s stop making excuses and deal with this evil for what it is. And the first step would be for OAU and other higher schools to have whistle-blower policy.